BENGALURU: Residents of Malleswaram can now breathe a sign of relief as the construction of the railway underpass at Srirampuram, near Sampige Road, is expected to be completed in two weeks. The work that began a decade ago was halted again two years ago due to land disputes between the South Western Railway (SWR) and a real estate company.
The city’s civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara (BBMP) said the work should be completed within the next 15-20 days. The BBMP had deposited `1 crore with the South Western Railway to execute the project on railway land in 2008.
Gopal Rao, Malleswaram Resident Welfare Association (RWA) member, said, “We are helpless because there is politics involved in this. As per BBMP reports, the area belonging to the real estate company is 13 acres out of 23 acres in total, but they had encroached all of it including the railway land. Last year, we had requested the real estate builder to close the entrance to their mall on Sampige Road and put a gate at the back, but they paid no heed.”
Ramaswamy N V, another resident who had protested last year, shared a similar view. “The entire area is a disputed land and no government official took action to resolve it,” he said, adding that the construction work is going on at the moment.
According to BBMP executive engineer (road infrastructure west) in-charge of the project, Malatesh, the real estate company halted the project as the underpass road was falling in their land. After repeated consultations, they agreed to lay a road for public use on their property and finally, the work begun in March this year when they got the clearance.
“The issue was resolved internally. The work is almost completed and the shifting of transformers is done. Grating the road too is almost completed and only asphalting is required now. The work is expected to be completed in next 15-20 days,” he said.